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China may cut US chicken imports in half

China may cut imports of US chicken by 55% as anti-dumping tariffs take effect, said the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

An FAS report indicated China's imports of US chicken in 2010 could drop to 150,000 mt from 335,000 mt forecast in 2009. The official USDA estimate, meanwhile, sees a reduction to 300,000 mt.

In February China began imposing duties on imports of US chicken in the form of cash deposits ranging from 43-105% of value. The move followed Beijing's initial finding that US chicken producers sold at below-market prices. The tariffs will remain in place until the government's final determination, expected sometime this summer, according to the report.

Despite the anti-dumping tariffs and an expected 4% increase in China's broiler production this year, FAS predicts strong demand will boost total imports (excluding paws) by 6% to 425,000 mt. The main beneficiaries of the reduction in US imports will be Argentinean and Brazilian poultry producers, the report said.

The US accounted for 80% of the 401,000 mt of broiler meat imported by China in 2009. South American countries accounted for almost all of the remainder.

China was the third-largest importer of U.S. poultry in 2009 behind Russia and Mexico.

Source: Meatingplace

Natalie Berkhout

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